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5 Fun & Easy Ways to Teach Very Young Children

by Sarah Major M.Ed.

Prepare for it!
I believe that the most successful learning takes place when an environment is prepared with such careful thought that when a child enters that environment, he automatically begins to absorb concepts without anyone instructing him and without even realizing that he’s learning. This kind of learning environment is perfect for any child but most of all for the very young.

Make Your Read Aloud Time Enjoyable

by Carren Joy

To make your read aloud times enjoyable, find quiet activities for your children to do while you read. Don't be too picky about your children being still and quiet during reading. Some children just don't want to snuggle or can't be still to listen to a story, and others just zone out or fall asleep! However, if they have a quiet activity to keep their hands busy, and a few simple rules to follow, you may be surprised how much better they all pay attention. Even for your teens, this list offers good ideas for mindless, mellow fun.

How to Ensure Success in Learning Through Visuals & Play

by Sarah Major M.Ed.

I read an article the other day that really tugged at my heart. The author mourned the fact that kindergarten as it should be seems to be a thing of the past. Gone is the free play, the crayons and paint, the housekeeping center, the emphasis on learning social interactions and skills. She painted such a poignant picture of sunlit rooms and happy children thriving and creating. She decried today’s widespread, headlong dash towards increasing academics in kindergarten.

16 Reasons Why Free Play Will Help Your Child Learn

by Sarah Major M.Ed.

Or...Why eliminating recess will achieve the exact opposite effect from what was intended

The debate continues: should we shorten / eliminate recess in order to address educational failure? The last two schools I taught in were failing schools with principals who pushed to eliminate recess in favor of more teaching time in the classroom. The desired outcome was raised scores, of course.

Top Picks for Preschool and Kindergarden!

by Betsy Sproger

My daughter just graduated from our homeschool this June!  I am usually talking about homeschooling high school here, and homeschool prom, that sort of thing....

That was such a special day for my homeschool graduate!  But today, I'd like to share about how we homeschooled the early years, preschool and kindergarden.  And how we had so much fun doing it.... 

Handwriting Helps

by Betsy Sproger
Homeschooler and Consultant

Does your child struggle with writing her letters? Or does she have trouble holding a pencil, or tends to grasp it tightly?
Difficulty with her handwriting can often be related to two simple issues. either a lack of hand strength, or limited finger coordination.

A Right-brained way to Teach Young Children to Count

by Sarah Major, M.Ed

I hear from parents on a regular basis who have children that struggle to recognize numbers and count. One way that numbers are traditionally taught is to display a chart of 100 numbers in rows of ten and count that chart daily. Repetition over many passes through that chart will eventually work… most of the time. However, there is a much more effective way to get this done, especially when teaching a beginner.

Preschool Pressure or Preschool Peace?

by Barbara Frank

I always say my kids were homeschooled from birth, because they never went to school and they were learning from the day they were born. Yet I didn't "school" them during the years from birth to age 5; we certainly did a lot---played inside and outside, made crafts, painted, colored, I read to them---but I never considered that homeschooling.

That's why I was bewildered when I first noticed the trend of moms joining homeschool support groups even though their children were under five years old. I wondered, what's their hurry?

Elements that Help Very Young Children Connect with Learning

by Sarah Major, M.Ed

Recent years have brought an increased emphasis on teaching school content to younger and younger children. While this is not the primary work of toddlers, there are wonderful developmentally-appropriate ways to introduce letters, sounds, and numbers to toddlers. The really young learn most readily through pictures, stories, music, games, and a whole lot of hands-on play.

How to Teach “ ” Usage in a Child-friendly Way

by Sarah Major, M.Ed
 
When I was teaching school, many of my second graders struggled with placing quotation marks in their writing. This first surprised and then puzzled me.